Happiness – what matters most

Happiness – what matters most

by Angie LeVan (www.inthriving.com)

In a world of vast technology where everything you could ever imagine is at the click of button, the simple pleasures of life seem to get lost in the mix.

Now, I”ll be the first to admit that I love technology. It makes me feel excited. It makes things more attainable. The Internet, pdas, and iphones help us to manage our time; however, they also manage to consume it. Technology makes communication so convenient that we feel the need to be in touch with the world, and for many reasons that’s a great thing. But does it lead to fulfillment and happiness? Does it bring us a meaning and joy? Unfortunately, technology can distract us from what matters most. If you haven”t stopped reading this yet to check your Blackberry then I applaud you. Heck, I”m the author, and I”ve checked my email twice already.

When I think about what matters most, often Thanksgiving comes to mind. While I love a fancy steak dinner drizzled in bêÑÔ©arnaise sauce with a side of whipped garlic potatoes and finely prepared asparagus, nothing beats a turkey dinner with all the scrumptious trimmings. Nothing beats my grandmother’s pineapple stuffing. But mostly, nothing beats the time I get to spend with my family , relaxing and catching up over a home-cooked meal. It’s simple. It’s a time to get back to the basics, a time to really slow down, unplug and connect to what matters most. It’s a time to ponder what we”re most thankful for in life and those things are usually what gives our lives the most meaning – my shiny, new iphone, um, er, I mean, my family, my health, and the million-and-one small joys that life has to offer. Tulips. Music. Laughter. Hugs. Architecture. Random acts of kindness. Freedom to practice any faith we choose. Home. Loved ones. Turkey. In a crazy, technology-driven world, it’s easy to take these things for granted.

Every birthday my family makes a point to get together for dinner and cake. Traditionally, we dine out; but this year my mom surprised me with an early Thanksgiving dinner. She said, “Your life is filled with so much business, so much to-do, that I thought it would be nice to celebrate your birthday with something simple and relaxing.” Now my mom is no tech buff, but she gets me; and she gets what really matters. I”ve always admired my mom’s ability to know just what I need and to cut through all the “have-tos” in life to get to the things that really matter. She leads a simple, but elegant life. I can”t say the same for myself. All too often, I allow the craziness of my schedule to get in the way of the things that are most meaningful to me. So today I make a pledge to be more like my mom – to take the time to experience the things that matter most. Yes, I”ll still enjoy the conveniences of my macbook and iphone. I”ll still search the web for the next utility that allows me to connect with old friends. I”ll still have a schedule that’s chock full of business – but I will spend more time delighting in life’s simple pleasures.

To really put things into perspective, if it were your last day alive, what would you want to do? Who would you want to see? What would give you the greatest joy?

As my mom has given me the gift of what matters most, I want to bestow that gift upon you. This isn”t just my storyê¢__‘Ô_. It’s your story too. When is the last time you recalled how much easier it was to be a kid, spending your days at play and delighting in simple things? When is the last time you unplugged yourself from the world and stopped to enjoy what matters most? So today, I ask you to take a pledge to spend more time connecting to that which brings the most meaning to your life. Only you know what that is. Take some time to unplug from technology and get in touch with what matters most to you.

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